I would like to survey and possibly interview you as part of research for my PhD thesis, “Trauma ‘On the Road’: investigating the risk and impact of traumatic assignments on journalists in Australia”. This research aims to investigate the risk and traumatic impact certain stories have upon Australian journalists resulting from their assignments—in other words, when they are on the road. The impact being examined in this research is that of the assignment upon the journalist, as opposed to whether the assignment was of a traumatic or serious nature. The risk in this instance is of exposure to a trauma response, which will be described in terms of symptoms experienced by a journalist. If you take part in the interview component of the research, I would like to interview you for your views on these issues. The wider goal is to improve the reporting of traumatic events as a whole, for both journalists and the wider community.
If you choose to participate, you will be involved in an online survey of approximately 20 minutes in duration. Within the survey, you will be asked to indicate if you are interested in taking part in a follow-up interview of approximately 30 to 60 minutes in duration. The interview would be conducted by telephone or in your office or another location of your choice.
Your participation in this project is voluntary. If you agree to participate, you can withdraw from participation during the project without comment. Please note that, should you choose to withdraw from the study, you have until two weeks after the submission of your responses to request that your data be removed from the study. Your decision about whether or not to participate will in no way impact upon your current or future relationship with myself or University of South Australia.
This research will contribute to the understanding of the responses journalists have to certain stories they cover, which is under-researched in Australia at this time and which will add to a body of knowledge on this subject that is being developed world-wide. Although your involvement in the project may increase the profile of your organisation by increasing understanding of the difficulties journalists face when covering certain assignments, the main benefit is expected to be to the wider industry rather than individual organisations.
Risks and Confidentiality
If the information that you provide is used in a conference paper, academic article or other publication, I will be attributing that information directly to you unless you advise me that you wish to remain anonymous. If you advise me that you wish to be named, but would like certain comments and responses to be treated confidentially, then I will use that information as background without any identifying names or details.
In the survey component of the research, the researcher will take every care to remove responses from any identifying material as early as possible. Likewise, individuals' responses will be kept confidential by the researcher and not be identified in the reporting of survey component of the research. However, the researcher cannot guarantee the confidentiality or anonymity of material transferred by email or the internet.
The interview will be audio or video recorded. A certified transcription of your interview will be retained for five years, and the data will be stored in password-controlled files on the computers of the respective research team members named above. The transcripts will thus not be available to anyone outside the research team. The transcription records will be identifiable to the research team, unless you wish your name to be masked. If so, then your name will be removed from the transcription and re-identifiable by a code that is only available to members of the research team. All records containing personal information will remain confidential and no information which could lead to identification of any individual will be released, unless required by law OR if individuals will be able to be identified.
If you would like to receive a copy of the final published research, please indicate by providing your email address to the researcher.
There should be no risks beyond normal day-to-day living associated with your participation in this project. However, if at any time you would like to seek support as a consequence of this research, you are encouraged to seek assistance from your organisation’s Employee Assistance Program or the University's counselling service on 1300 107 441.
Questions / further information about the project
Please feel free to ask the research team above if you have any questions or require further information about the project.
Concerns / complaints regarding the conduct of the project
This project has been approved by the University of South Australia’s Human Research Ethics Committee. The institutions involved in this research are committed to researcher integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects. However, if you do have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the project you may contact the University of South Australia Research Ethics Officer on 08 8302 3118 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org. The Researcher Ethics Officer is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an impartial manner.
Please complete the Statement of Consent (below) to confirm your agreement to participate.
In signing this form, I confirm that:
I understand that the recordings(s) will be retained and stored at the University of South Australia’s password-controlled computer storage system and backed up to USB, which will be stored securely in a locked office in accordance with University of South Australia guidelines and that only members of the research team will have access.